Since the pandemic began, couples have argued over ruined wedding plans. They went on the date, no one got cold feet, but they were forced to postpone or cancel weddings through no fault of their own. Executive orders closed venues and when they finally reopened their capacities and protocols were extremely limited.
If you procrastinate, you might be forced into an undesirable day of the week like Tuesday. If you’ve canceled, many venues have been telling couples for a year that they can’t get a penny of their money back. Some would only give partial refunds even though the venue did not provide anything.
Now there are laws that regulate this and would force the venues to return all the money to a party that canceled a wedding, bar mitzvah, sweet 16 party, etc. due to the pandemic. It would also not allow for exorbitant fees tied to postponements.
Indeed it does. We took calls on Tuesday on the matter and a gentleman spoke of his son learning from a venue that he would have to postpone his wedding and accept a Wednesday and that he would have to pay thousands of dollars more for this poor availability.
State Senator Vin Gopal is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill (there is an accompanying bill in the congregation) and says, “It is only fair that people who have paid fees or made deposits and then forced through no fault of their own should be able to cancel plans be able to request a refund due to exceptional circumstances. “
The calls we received on this matter were frustrating. A couple ran out of $ 9,000 when told they had to put off but couldn’t. He is in the armed forces and would be deployed abroad in a dangerous situation. He didn’t want her to be without benefit if something happened to him. So postponing was not an option. They had a little wedding in the back yard and the venue just did nothing to keep $ 9,000 away from them.
Another woman who had planned a Sweet 16 party for her daughter last April couldn’t have it. The venue kept her money and postponed it until July. July came and it was still a no-go. They still wouldn’t refund their money and she ultimately had to postpone it to July 2021, well over a year after her daughter’s 16th birthday, which made the party pretty pointless. She half joked that if the venue played that game, she would consider rounding up every homeless person she could find and throw them the party with well-deserved good food and see how the venue liked it.
I usually don’t like the government telling private companies how to work. However, between a venue and a young couple, it’s pretty obvious who can usually absorb the financial blow more. And despite all of the lost deals of last year, the industry is now overbooked, doing business all in one for two years this year. From there the free nights come like Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So how fair is it that those venues that are already charging a ridiculous amount don’t suffer the loss? A couple who were not offered service shouldn’t have to lose money. Especially when the wedding industry increases its prices higher than the inflation rate every year. The average wedding in New Jersey is now $ 36,943, the second highest of any fifty states.
This bill must become law.
The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. All opinions expressed are from Jeff Deminski.
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